UFC Hall of Fame inductee, Mark ‘The Hammer’ Coleman has revealed he was a victim of sexual assault during his time at Ohio State University, by Dr. Richard Strauss.
Coleman, a former UFC heavyweight champion, as well as a PRIDE FC heavyweight titleholder, is revered as one of the biggest influences on mixed martial arts today, and a true pioneer of the sport – is known for his relentless ground-and-pound barrages, which led to his christening as ‘The Godfather of Ground-And-Pound’.
An accomplished amateur wrestler, during a stint which seen him crowned an NCAA Division I winner, as well as NCAA Big Ten, a 1991 Pan American Games victor, as well as an appearance at the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona, where he placed seventh in freestyle-wrestling.
The Ohio native detailed the abuse he suffered in a recent interview with Sports Illustrated – in which he explained how he was examined inappropriately during a physical appointment with Dr. Strauss.
“He examined me pretty good,” Coleman said. “It was an eye-opener. I don’t want to go further than that.“
In what he explained was something of a “long-running joke” Coleman reveals how Dr. Strauss would shower with students at the university as well as sit nude on benches with them in the locker rooms. Strauss is also said to have touched the genitals of the athletes during other physical examinations when it wasn’t necessary to do so.
Coleman who was under a scholarship programe, further told how coaches at the university had joked and mocked how students would be required to see Dr. Strauss if they didn’t perform well during training and practice. The above mentioned Sports Illustrated feature details how Dr Strauss had a slew of nicknames such as, “Dr. Drop-Your-Drawers“, “Dr. Feel Good“, “Dr. Balls“, “Dr. Jelly Fingers“, and “Dr. Nuts“
The now 55-year-old Coleman explained how other students and training partners would joke about the abuse they had received, during a time period of much stigma toward the subject of sexual abuse – and told how he more or less accepted the situation, given his ambitions to make the United States Olympic wrestling team.
“We never thought a man could sexually abuse a man,” Coleman said. “We just played it off. We joked about it. But I don’t think we were really joking. This guy controlled my future. We all put up with it. For me, it was like, ‘Just clear me so I can go win an NCAA title and make the Olympic team. People say, ‘Why would they let a little man do this?’ Well, it’s complicated. You felt powerless. I wasn’t going to stir up sh*t, punch Dr. Strauss in the face and risk everything.“
“I didn’t know how bad it was affecting me, but now I look back and I was very angry. I went into practice very angry a lot of times, storming into the wrestling room and screaming. I was confused. I spun it as, ‘Well, it’s good to be angry, I’m gonna have a hell of a practice and kick someone’s ass’ But now I realized, it wasn’t good and I realize why.“
Dr. Strauss committed suicide in 2005 and is reported to have committed forty-seven instances of rape, and one-thousand, four-hundred and twenty-nine instances of inappropriate fondling.
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